Due to its sheer size - with nearly two million attendees annually, the Minnesota State Fair produces a lot of waste. A lot. So much, in fact, that the organization that runs the annual Great Minnesota Get Together is charged tens of thousands of dollars in taxes on waste contributions alone. A state tax and a county environmental charge - totally 70%! Native is working with the Fair to gather data regarding the composition of the waste stream, assess the opportunity for expanding traditional and organics recycling, and connecting the Fair with resources and vendors who can help succeed in expanding waste diversion. We share this client with our friends at Connect Ecology, leveraging their connections and resources in the world of sourcing.
First step - increase attendee recycling. In 2016 we nearly double the amount of receptacles available to capture plastic bottles, cans and the plastic beer cups. In addition to that effort, we know that a significant portion of the Fair’s waste could be composted and that facility-wide changes may drastically reduce taxes paid for waste hauling, while providing a very visible opportunity for public education about ways to remove compostable materials from the waste stream. Watch the blog for details as this project unfolds!